Today my native Finland is celebrating it’s independence day. While I’m not taking part in any major celebrations today, it made me think how privileged I am to have lived in an environment of peace all my life. And even if my generation in Europe has enjoyed peace, I know many people for whom this hasn’t been the case. So today is a good day to take a moment to think about this and to send these warm thoughts around the world. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” ― John Lennon
A few tips if you’re wondering what to get for mom, or for another special lady in your life. Offer a heavenly blend of tea and some beautiful cups. White tea “Avec les Anges” from Tea for Two. Cups are second hand. Pamper her with a Korres face cream or a luxurious wool and silk throw from Coco-Mat. Or get her a book to read during the holidays. Another idea that can’t fail is a homemade hamper: gather some of her favourite goodies from the bio shop. Or offer a Gift Card: a good present can also be a service – offer to baby-sit, cook a three course meal, give a massage or offer to clean the house.
When the shopping streets are filling with bargain-hunters looking for affordable presents or that little black dress for the season’s parties, Elizabeth L. Cline’s Overdressed – The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion – would be a good read for anyone planning to hit the high street. While the writer reveals the truth behind cheap and mass produced clothes, she does it without judgement and even reveals her own weakness for disposable clothing. While expensive doesn’t necessarily equal sustainable, Over-Dressed gives us all something to think about; or at least leaves us with a little bit more information which is difficult to ignore.
Step out of the cold and get yourself a cup of hot chocolate, a cappuccino or a big cup of flavored tea. Café de la Presse on 493 Avenue Louise is a perfect place for this: It’s open from early morning till after-work hours every day, it has a cool warm interior with mix & match vintage furniture and an impressive selection of treats from cookies to cupcakes and cakes to brownies. The Café is also organising interesting events such as vintage fairs. Right now: The seasonal hot apple juice with ginger, cinnamon and honey or the cafe latte with Christmas spices sound tempting. I took this picture after closing time, normally it won’t be this easy to find a seat as the place is buzzing.
All the flower shops are full of beautiful hyacinth buds and I got a few in my kitchen too. Now I just can’t wait for them to open up.
December is here and the next weeks will be busy for the most of us. Thinking about how and with whom to spend the holidays, trying to find the perfect personal present for the loved ones, cooking, baking, cleaning and budgeting for it all; The list goes on. For a moment, let’s stop all that and make sure we remember that the Christmas season is a good opportunity to remember those friends with whom we’ve almost lost touch in the everyday hustle and bustle, invite someone over for a coffee or pick up the phone and call a family member just to wish them a good relaxing Sunday and catch up a little.